The right amount of protein.

A regular conversation I have with clients is when is the right time to add protein shakes? Firstly, lets talk about the average daily protein need. For a healthy, sedentary adult their daily protein requirement is 0.8g per kilogram of body weight per day; this is approximately 10-15% of total calories consumed per day. There are a few training cases when protein requirements may change and possibly require supplements. However in many cases, additional protein can be sought through a balanced diet.

  1. ENDURANCE TRAINING – Long distance, endurance athletes running 60 minutes or more of moderately hard training may require additional protein to compensate the breakdown of muscle tissue due to depleted glycogen stores, a process known as gluconeogenesis. Gluconeogenesis is the body’s way of maintaining blood glucose levels when muscle and liver glycogen have become depleted during exercise or at times when there is a low energy intake. Another reason for an increase in protein is to help repair and recovery of the muscles. After a long run I always have a pint of skimmed milk as its a fast and effective way of getting adequate protein into my body quickly. Daily protein requirements 1.2-1.4g per kg of body weight.
  2. STRENGTH TRAINING – When strength training you are creating micro tears in the muscle which requires increased amounts of protein to help repair and enhance recovery. Strength training requires more protein than endurance training due to the higher rate of muscle synthesis and increased demands placed on the muscles. In order to achieve effective muscle hypertrophy (muscle bulk) an increase in protein must be met with an appropriate workload. Some of the highest protein foods are chicken 39g/130g, salmon 30g/150g and beef 28g/100g. Daily protein requirements are 1.4-1.8g per kg of body weight
  3. FAT LOSS PROGRAMME – Clients of mine on a weight loss or weight management programme benefit from a slightly higher daily protein allowance of up to 20% of their total daily calorie intake. Proteins such as poultry, meat, meat produce, dairy products and nuts, seeds and pulses are high in protein which keeps you fuller for longer. When increasing protein in your diet it is important to accompany it with exercise to maximise the benefits. Some low fat examples are low fat yogurt, salmon, chicken, eggs and skimmed milk.
  4. VEGETARIAN ATHLETES – Many vegetarian clients of mine through a balanced diet will achieve 10-15% of their total calories through low fat dairy product and meat and fish alternatives such as tofu, nuts and seeds. Plant sources are generally lower in protein so it is essential to eat the right combination of plant-based proteins. It maybe relevant for a vegetarian to supplement their diet particularly when training for a marathon or strength training. Some good examples are quinoa, quorn, tofu, soya milk, eggs, kidney beans, chick peas and baked beans.

Many protein-based meal replacements are designed to have a wide range of nutritional combinations than a protein only supplement so it is important to understand why you are taking it and for what purpose. It is important to know the side effects of too much protein in the diet such as excess protein intake can be stored as fat, some animal products are high in saturated fat and therefor can increase cholesterol and increase the risk of Chronic Heart Disease and can be dangerous to individuals with kidney or liver disease.

If you have any questions related to protein intake why not get in touch!

Are we a nation who drink enough?

How much water is enough?

Although uncommon, it is possible to drink too much water. Hyponatremis is a condition when too much water is consumed over a short period of time and the kidney does not have time to filter out the excess. This leaves the sodium concentration in the blood very low and symptoms can include headache, confusion, muscle spasms, nausea or in severe cases swelling in the brain cells.  Electrolytes can be used to replace lost sodium stores and there are plenty well-known brands on the market.

Not having enough fluid can be serious and the importance during exercise of replacing water cannot be over stated. At 3% dehydrated an athlete will have inefficient kidney function, dry mouth, headache and a measurable reduction in exercise performance; at 5% heat exhaustion will result and require medical assistance.

1 liter per 1000 kcal you expend = your daily water requirement

How to assess hydration levels?

It is important to drink before you feel thirsty. When you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated and performance will be affected. It takes time for water to be absorbed into your body and transported. A good indicator is the colour of urine:

Sports drinks are an excellent way of improving performance by improving hydration and glucose replacement. Isotonic drinks contain the same amount of glucose as the body and are absorbed by the gut quicker (4gramms/100ml).

One of my biggest inspirations in life is my Father.  A retired General Practitioner and fitness fanatic, he taught me years ago how to make my own isotonic drink with half fresh fruit juice, half water and a pinch of salt to encourage me to drink more.  It really does the trick and by far cheaper than the shop bought drinks. Give it a try after a hard session and see for yourself.

Cut your food bill on Superfoods…..

Goji berries, chia seeds, coconut oil, kale and quinoa are to name a few that have been branded superfoods in the recent years. Promising to be cancer protecting, immune boosting, protection against heart disease and helping burn more fat. They are expensive! 6 times more expensive than the alternatives.

Here is a list of cheaper alternatives to try out that and they offer the same health benefits:

  • Coconut oil         Rapesead oil or vegetable oil
  • Chia seeds          Pumpkin, sunflower or sesame seeds
  • Kale                      Cabbage or spring greens
  • Goji berries        Frozen summer fruits
  • Quinoa                Pearl barley

A few other foods that have claim to protect against heart disease and some cancers are:

  • Eggs – high in protein, vitamin A, D, E, K, B6 and B12 and inexpensive.
  • Oily fish (salmon, mackerel and sardiens)- high in protein, omega-3 and vitamin D and B.
  • Blueberries- high in fiber, vitamins K and C and also high in antioxidants.

I like to tell my clients that food is like Batman and exercise like Robin; no matter how much exercise you do if your diet is not balanced and controlled you will struggle to meet your health goals.  Not sure if you are getting a good balanced diet and would like to have a food analysis done please get in touch. Fit + Fabulous will deconstruct your current diet and offer healthier suggestion to help you achieve your goal.


A day in a life of a Personal Trainer

The fitness industry is worth nearly £4 billion in the UK and a difficult industry to govern. It is important to question those who are giving fitness and nutritional advice and on what recommendations they seek their findings.  When hiring a Personal Trainer or joining a gym don’t be afraid to question what qualifications they have or dig deep about their principles or industry and life experiences.

I want my clients to have fun, relate to me and most importantly get the results they desire. I individualise all my clients sessions, I participate and keep in contact with them on a regular basis. My aim is to understand their goals, likes and dislikes; understand their busy lifestyles and how fitness fits in. What are my goals?

  • Respect – for you to seek help to get fit, lose weight or change your lifestyle it is a big step and one not to be sniffed at. Many of my client are anxious and nervous when we meet for the first time as it is a step that they have been thinking about for a long time. It is a huge investment of their time and money which has not been taken lightly and I value that.  A PT should spend time getting to know their client, understanding their lifestyle, their family life and what motivates them.  Its about you!
  • Flexibility – as much as we plan things, obsticals are thrown in our way; such as life! Being a mum of two and wife of a very hard working husband, time is of the essence. I know so many people that have gym memberships and use them once or twice a month, its a huge expense.  I work as a mobile personal trainer so I come to you. There are so many local parks that are great spaces to use as training ground in all weather. Despite the unpredictability of the Scottish weather you would be surprised at how much fun it is to train out doors. There are so many training methods to accommodate short periods of time. There is no need to spend hours training; effective weight loss and health benefits can be done in as little as 30 minutes at any given time.
  • Fair but firm -I train hard, I don’t always enjoy it at the time but when I get the results I want, it is all worth while.   In the past I have competed in races where I have pushed my body to its limits and tried to do it in the name of my children. In the end, despite my love for my kids, I only every perform when I want it for myself. I believe what you put in is what you get back. I would never ask any of my clients to do anything I would not do myself. All I ask is that you try your hardest and you do it for yourself! When you don’t succeed, try again!
  • Approachable – I have spent a lot of time and money to be industry qualified, setting up my company and helping my clients achieve their goals. I have been a sports enthusiast since school; I grew up having a very active, outdoor family lifestyle and principals.  However, I am not unique or indifferent to you;  I have a family, a career, friends and hobbies that consume my time. I am not here to judge you! I am here to help you meet your goals and expectations and most definitely have fun.

Never had a personal trainer or a gym membership but want to find out more? Why not follow me on Facebook or Twitter to get up to date information. Get in touch for more information or even try my exercise videos on Youtube.



Fit at the fabulous highland games

Bearsden and Milngavie Highland Games had 33 stalls, Garscube 10k road race, tug of war, world haggis hurling, pipe bands, highland dancing, archery, children’s games and rides and so much more for families to enjoy; a real family focused event! The event is an annual event and held at the West of Scotland Rugby Club, 11 am till 4pm. It is a day out for all the family.

WOW! What a day we had at the Highland Games 2016 with two of my favourite boys; dad, Craig and husband, Gary. If there was a prize for the most direct and amusing chat it would go to dad #myinspiration.  Today was about chatting to new people, seeing familiar faces and introducing Fit + Fabulous to Bearsden and Milngavie. We succeeded! Thank you to everyone that popped in to said hello.

Our aim of the day was to promote Fit + Fabulous who’s ethos is about making time to enjoy exercise and change dietary habits to build a happier, healthier lifestyle for all the family. To all Glasgow folk, thank you for embracing us today.  The best line of the day was “what would you do for me luv? Turn ma wheelchair into two wheels instead a four.” If I could I would!

Being a mum, the main highlight for me was seeing so many families taking part in all the activities despite the Scottish weather. See you next year! 🙂


highland games2

Perfect 10k trail route

I feel so lucky to live to close to many perfect trail routes to run however there is nothing quite like the start of the West Highland Way (“WHW”) and into Mugdock Country Park.  The path undulates, there is a small climb and the path underfoot is ideal for all seasons. It is mostly woods surrounding the path and this morning there were large patches of blue bells and butter cups.

Starting at the Drumclog car park, off Mugdock Road next to Mugdock Reservoir the path joins the WHW for 3 miles past Craigallan Loch. After the houses there is a gate on the right had side with a steep climb through Loch Woods to Broadmeadow Road and into Mugdock country park. There are numerous trail paths through the park to chose from. We followed one to the South Lodge car park which rejoins Mugdock Road.

Why not go and investigate the route and tell me what you think?


WHW 10k